Loxosceles rufescens (Mediterranean Recluse Spider ) - Mark Newton
Torrens River, Mt Lofty Ranges, SA



There are many species of Recluse spiders (also known as violin or fiddleback spiders),

however, none are endemic to Australia. They have a nasty reputation due to their potentially

dermonecrotic venom even though the vast majority of bites are unremarkable requiring little

to no medical intervention. The species shown here, Loxosceles rufescens, having originated

in the Mediterranean, is now more or less a cosmopolitan species (world-wide distribution).

Transported to Adelaide's ports quite some time ago it has now spread into greater South

Australian country regions, but is rarely seen as these non-aggressive spiders prefer dark, quiet

places and will rarely venture out into the open.

This particular species of Recluse does not have the exaggerated notoriety of L. reclusa, a species

common to areas of southern North America - although its venom is considered to have the

same potentially dermonecrotic action (Greene et al., 2009). L. rufescens, as with all spiders from

this genus should be considered 'potentially' dangerous and as such treated with care.

Reference:

Greene, A., Breisch, N. L., Boardman, T., Pagac, B. B., Kunickis, E., Howes, R. K., & Brown, P. V. (2009).The Mediterranean recluse spider, Loxosceles rufescens (Dufour): An abundant but cryptic inhabitant of deep infrastructure in the Washington, D.C. area (Arachnida: Araneae: Sicariidae). American entomologist, 55(3), 158-169. doi:10.1093/ae/55.3.158


Nentwig, W., Pantini, P., & Vetter, R. S. (2017). Distribution and medical aspects of Loxosceles rufescens, one of the most invasive spiders of the world (Araneae: Sicariidae). Toxicon, 132, 19-28. doi:http://doi.org/10.1016/j.toxicon.2017.04.007



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